with autoindent mode on, when writing a short bullet point on restructuredtext file:

- item one

Then I press Enter, and I get:

- item one

but I whould like to quickly by here:

- item one

so ready to fill my - item two

right now I have to do ESC[enter]i[space][space] before to be ready to write my item two.

After adding the @Ralf vars:

:setlocal comments+=b:-
:setlocal formatoptions+=ro

Here the check of vars values:

:set formatoptions?
:set comments?
     - toto

In insert mode, enter add the - but indented

- lkdsj
      ~         <= press Enter
  - qsdfqsdf
           ~    <= press Enter
    - lqkfdjqd
             ~  <= press Enter
      - toto

In normal mode o add the - but indented:

- lkdsj
      ~         <= press o
    ~           # in insert mode but indented

In normal mode O add the - not indented but line above:

- ~             <= 2. item added above
- lkdsj
      ~         <= 1. press O

1 Answer 1


This works with the options formatoptions and comments.

Create the file .vim/after/ftplugin/rst.vim and add the following lines:

setlocal comments+=b:-
setlocal formatoptions+=ro

For comments, the b:- adds the the dash as a comment character that has to be followed by a blank. See :help 'comments' and :help format-comments

For formatoptions, the r inserts the comment leader when hitting Enter. The o inserts the comment leader on hitting o or O in normal mode. See :help 'formatoptions' and :help fo-table.

  • thank you, when I hit O it add a new line above when I it o it add a line below but ... indented Oct 11, 2019 at 17:48
  • @user3313834 What does set formatoptions? print? And set comments? ?
    – Ralf
    Oct 12, 2019 at 0:52
  • set comments? return: comments=fb:..,b:- and formatoptions? return: formatoptions=jtcqlro Apr 10, 2022 at 18:18

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